"For the first time ever we were turning people away because so many people wanted to be involved," said McConnell. "It's a good problem to have."

The Rotary Club of Gonzales hosted its annual Food Festival at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center to raise money for St. Theresa's Food Pantry. The event was the largest yet with over 40 local restaurants contributing food. Tickets were sold that raised more than $10,000 for St. Theresa's.

Parish Public Information Officer and Rotarian Martin McConnell said there were so many businesses involved there was not enough room at the event for all the restaurants who wanted to participate.

"For the first time ever we were turning people away because so many people wanted to be involved," said McConnell. "It's a good problem to have."

McConnell said that means next year the event will be even bigger and better than ever. Seats filled up so quickly that the Rotarians had to bring out more tables to seat everyone who came to eat.

Committee Chairperson Tracey Browning said they had over 400 people in attendance at the Tuesday night event. She said this event has been going on more than 15 years.

"People keep coming back every year because it's such a worthy cause," said Browning.

McConnell noted that all of the proceeds from the event stay right here in the area. He added that although St. Theresa's is a Catholic church, their services are open to anyone in the parish who needs them, regardless of their creed.

In addition to the 42 local restaurants who brought food for the guests, other businesses in the area also stepped up to sponsor the night. Allfax, Ascension Paper Products, Blue Runner, C&C Treasures, the City of Gonzales, Coca-Cola, EATEL, GSA, Lamendola's Supermarket, the Parish of Ascension, and UCB all sponsored the event.

Ascension Funeral Home, Ascension Council on Aging, Dr. Jeansonne & Spillers Dentistry, Gonzales City Hall, Lofton Staffing Agency, and St. Theresa Church helped sell tickets for the festival. Channel 21 and the Outdoor Kitchen were on hand to film the celebration.

For our complete photo gallery of the event click here.

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